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Thread: Four BBC series on farm life in various periods.

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    Default Four BBC series on farm life in various periods.

    Some interesting viewing of life on farms in various eras.
    They actually filmed the Tudor era last so had far more experience working a farm than when they did the Victorian era, and it shows. But informative BBC stuff. Wish they had done a weekly show in each era, instead of just 6 or 8 episodes, but farm life might have been seen as too repetitive to hold viewer interest, so you get just the highlights. The guys making their first beer in the Victorian era are a riot. I don't imagine they actually drank what they created in that washing tub...

    Tudor Monestary Farm
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1ERDYjsHBg

    Victorian Farm
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4apIM4l0laY

    Edwardian Farm
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcBl4_2FJX4

    Wartime Farm
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUsU5s0ofYo
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
    ~ President Ulysses S. Grant


  2. #2
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I have watched each of those series through many times.

    They are entertaining, but like many BBC series of this nature the "historians and archaeologists" do not have a clue to what they are doing!

    They have read about it in books but have never actually grown plants in real dirt or faced the economic realities of operating a farm. If their crops fail they can go on to the next TV special and be an "expert" there.

    And those folks do not live on the farm for a year, working day in and day out as British farmers. They show up for filming and go back to London between takes.

    Our staged "survival shows" of various eras that were popular a decade ago, that put ignorant and unskilled families on farms of various eras in time, were a takeoff of this BBC series.
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    Yeah, a lot of the comments are about them being academic experts rather than field experts.
    But I could give them a B for effort in trying.

    I didn't post the one called Green Valley. That was really bad. It was painful watching them try to fell trees and the old dude scraping at a scythe with what was supposed to be a whetstone set my teeth on edge.

    Wartime farm was best for several reasons, first, no one is really familiar with what the UK went thru during the War and how they managed food production with being so far behind. And second, it shows the extent government can and will intrude into everyone's lives in an emergency. It only gets talked about here, but they lived it back then. I just wish they'd gone into more detail on the ambulance conversion. That looked like a project.
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
    ~ President Ulysses S. Grant

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    LK there are a lot of sites with instructions for wood gas conversions on the internet. I do not like the aspect of having to chop wood or collect kindling before I can make my burger run to Wendy's!

    I wonder what kind of mileage I would get on the cheap Walmart charcoal?

    One of the things they mentioned in the War farm series was that at the end of the war the people voted in a government that nationalized every aspect of British life and kept the controls on agriculture in place.

    They also kept the rationing system in effect for years and lived with austerity they had come to accept through the depression and the war as "normal life". (the same concept was trying to be imposed on the American population just a couple of years ago with acceptance of "the new normal")

    As an example, sugar was rationed until 1957 which limited the availability of candy and how much sugar was included in candy, sweets and cakes. British chocolate and candies still do not have the same "sweetness level" expected in other countries due to the entire population becoming used to scarcity of sugar in their sweets.

    Gas was rationed "severely" with individuals getting ZERO gasoline for private use. Zero gas meant no transport at all so when transport became available they had nothing made after the war to compare it too, so they accepted some ridiculous crap as fine machinery! Gas was still being rationed in the late 1950s. To this day the British accept the most minuscule engines one one could imagine as being acceptable for heavy duty use. I was conversing with one Brit a few days ago about pulling an RV to discover that he had to get the "big engine" in his vehicle to pull his 4 meter RV. The big engine was the 2 liter. He would be arrested for trying to pull his camper behind that vehicle anywhere in the U.S.

    Then they turn around and try to tell us our vehicles are too big, our candy too sweet and out tea too weak! And all of those opinions are based on artificial austerity they voted to impose on themselves.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Except there were always those that drove their Bentleys, Aston Martins, Rolls Royce or Range Rovers. Those that toted their James Purdey, Holland & Holland or Boss shotguns into the field. I doubt any of them were short on sugar, butter, petrol or kerosene. But then those were the ones implementing the programs, so...

  6. #6

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    Have you ever driven in the UK?
    You have to have a small car there. Those things they call B roads, you might get 2 Mini Coopers past each other. Even worse, down in Cornwall, they built these stone hedges to make it even more fun. Sometimes you have to back up to a wide spot to let someone past. Always dreaded meeting a lorry. The first thing the rental car guy did was check the mirrors for hedge damage.
    When I go over there, nothing larger than a Yaris-sized thing please. Exploring the country B roads is far more entertaining than just going to places linked by highways. But what they PAY for gas over there...atrocious.
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
    ~ President Ulysses S. Grant

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Lowkey they make and drive vehicles just as large and larger than anything we have here just like Rick pointed out.

    No one is forced to drive a small vehicle, they chose to do so based on economics and preference.

    They were taxed on size and horsepower for decades and as Rick stated, some had money for a big vehicle and some did not. That was either due to earnings or inheritance. We have the same situation here except we have always had a good supply of cheap used vehicles that could be passed down to the poor, eventually. The British tended to buy big cars and treat them as an inheritance with the poor never aspiring to vehicle ownership until the 1960s when the flood of small, cheap European vehicles hit the market, such as the Fiat 500, CV2 and the legendary Mini, which was 1/3 smaller than the one offered today!

    Even the rich resented the tax structure and for nearly 75 years Rolls Royce refused to publish their horsepower rating, stating that it was "adequate".

    As for the size of the roads,,,,Road building is a government function and decision. If your goal is to keep the population off the roads just do not give them a decent road to drive on! If no one is driving on that road why widen and re-engineer it?

    They have a different situation there than we do here but similar driving and population trends. The only people that go in those little picturesque one lane hollow ways are the tourists, and the people that have too because they live there and the government will not pave them a better road!

    90% of the British population lives in the dozen or so major cities. They never see anything less than the A road system. A full 1/3 of their population resides in the greater London area and a big part of them have never seen a B-road. Probably more American tourists have driven on England's back roads than Londoners.

    We here are in the same situation. Most of the nations traffic is in built up urban and suburban centers and the major highways that link them. As one progresses farther away from the urban areas the roads get worse and narrower. Even today there are places in the US where the pavement ends and the dirt begins and one is still on a public road where two vehicles can not pass.

    I live on a road that would qualify as one of the British one lanes. If you go a bit south of me the countryside is filled with narrow lanes bordered by dry laid stone fences. They are not as sunken due to not being used for 5000 years to get the sheep to market like the British roads. That is the zone of thoroughbred farms and historic distilleries and no one is driving small cars there because of the narrow roads.

    What do we do to get a bigger, better road in front of my house? We lobby the government to build it. They already have legal "right or way" for 50 feet each side of the road center. I do not live on a 4 lane highway with wide shoulders because there are not enough voters on my lane to force the effort. That and we do not want it, although a new repave would be nice.

    But in reflection we do purchase vehicles that reflect our residence. Not a single Cooper, Yaris or Yugo. Lots of 10-20 year old 1/2 ton pickups and assorted SUV types though. One in every driveway on my last count.

    You get onto a British outdoor forum and none of the participants aspire to ownership of a Yaris. Every stinking one of them wants a Land Rover and most are howling over the elimination of the basic machine they had aspired to own.

    The second most desired vehicle for use on the hollow ways and green lanes? A camper van conversion!
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 01-10-2019 at 02:15 PM.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

  8. #8
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Those roads were built on centuries old lanes when wagons were the form of transportation. If they wanted to widen the roads they would have to knock down most of the buildings in town to widen them.

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